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BACON DRY CURE, DRAIN OR NOT TO DRAIN, THAT IS THE QUESTION - Page 2

post #21 of 29
Buy in bulk... I do..... then individually vac-pack and freeze for later.... I bought a case at $2.05 / #..... the remaining slabs are in the freezer now...
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MARK BACON View Post
 

Wade, 

 

If I vac seal a brined belly, how long do you think it could stay in there ?  since its airtight, would it slow the process down to where it could be brined for a month or even longer??  Then would you bring out into the air for a few days ?   

 

I go to Chicago for my bellies, and it would be nice to know I could buy more and let them sit, taking them out for final processing as I have time and need them.

 

Mark

 

To ensure that you have the correct amount of nitrite (or nitrate) you need to weigh out the dry cure mix to suit the specific weight of each piece of meat. You should then coat the meat in the curing salts before placing inside the vac pack bag. Because ALL of the cure needs to be in contact with the meat you then need to sprinkle all of the remaining salt over the meat (and add any additional flavouring herbs) inside the bag before vacuum sealing. This stage of the curing process is about getting the nitrite to penetrate the meat as much as trying to reduce the moisture content. The moisture will still come out inside the pack and will form a brine however this brine will then be kept in intimate contact with the surface of the meat allowing the salts to penetrate effectively. Do not try to brine any longer than is required by your recipe as you are actually trying to achieve a balance of salt penetration and moisture removal. Cure too long at this stage and the bacon is likely to become way too salty - believe me I have had it happen to me!

 

It is the air drying and smoking steps after the brining that actually contribute most to moisture reduction. I usually air dry bacon in the fridge for about a week after it has been in the salt before smoking and then continue to air dry for at least a couple of weeks afterwards.

 

Different types of joint will require different timings so still follow the timings in your recipe.

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/157463/latest-batch-of-bacon


Edited by Wade - 2/12/14 at 10:34am
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks Wade:

 

I have been careful on the cure ratio.  Did find the link to the pink salt #1 vs Morton's quick cure very helpful.  I usually Jacard the bellies after I have put the cure on it, and then again after the seasonings, making sure I spend a little more time on the fatty side since I figured that the cure probably does not penetrate the fat the the meat side.

 

I have a restaurant in town that I cut a couple of " steak like " thick pieces for and the chef loved it.  I'm make another batch now to give them more samples for their customers and if the sample is liked as well as I hope,  I may need to start curing quite a bit more which is why I have so many questions about timing.

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MARK BACON View Post

Thanks Wade:

I have been careful on the cure ratio.  Did find the link to the pink salt #1 vs Morton's quick cure very helpful.  I usually Jacard the bellies after I have put the cure on it, and then again after the seasonings, making sure I spend a little more time on the fatty side since I figured that the cure probably does not penetrate the fat the the meat side.

I have a restaurant in town that I cut a couple of " steak like " thick pieces for and the chef loved it.  I'm make another batch now to give them more samples for their customers and if the sample is liked as well as I hope,  I may need to start curing quite a bit more which is why I have so many questions about timing.


Mark...... You are processing and selling this bacon you make ????? Is your kitchen federally inspected ????
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post


Mark...... You are processing and selling this bacon you make ????? Is your kitchen federally inspected ????

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARK BACON View Post
 

Thanks Wade:

 

I have a restaurant in town that I cut a couple of " steak like " thick pieces for and the chef loved it.  I'm make another batch now to give them more samples for their customers and if the sample is liked as well as I hope,  I may need to start curing quite a bit more which is why I have so many questions about timing.

 

I am not sure of the rules in the US however if they are similar to the ones in the UK then Dave's comments are very important. In the UK I can sell directly to the public but I have had to inform the Environmental Health agency before I began. In order to supply other retail establishments however (including restaurants) I have to be specially licensed and be open to regular inspections. Over here you also have to demonstrate that you have appropriate food hygiene certification..

 

So long as you are following all of the regulations it is not a difficult to get the required certification however you can get into serious legal trouble if you do not have the necessary paperwork. You might just want to look into the local legal aspects fairly early on. 

post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 

Dave:

 

I have not sold any, but rather have given samples out like all of us have done to family and friends.  My cousin is the manager at a high end artsy restaurant here in town and I gave him a couple of thick slabs for the chef to try as a bacon steak appetizer.  He really liked it, gave me a few ideas on what to do next and wants another batch of samples to test.  If that goes well, then I get to use their kitchen, which is inspected by the health department, to do my processing.  I may even be able to coattail my orders on to theirs and get things such as Kurobuta pork and other more exotic items since it is a high end restaurant that deals in prime meats.  

 

 

It is my understanding from looking at the FDA site after your post,  that restaurants are under state ( Indiana State Department of Health ) and local health department codes.  If I begin to package the bacon for sale at a grocery store, then that becomes a different issue but it still appears that as long as I get the meat from a federally inspected slaughterhouse, then I will simply need to do prep work in a kitchen that has state and or local health inspection certificate.   I have my food handler certification, so I am good there. The bacon would be processed at the restaurant, and eaten at the restaurant, not sold to carry out, unless they did not finish their meal.  I get my bellies from an old Chicago meat packing plant that is federally inspected.  In fact, last November when I was there, they were in the middle of an inspection and I was not allowed to go into some of the areas I had gone in the past while the inspector was there.  

post #27 of 29

Yea! All a huge help

post #28 of 29

But what is the  exact and everthing is fine. I think plus or minus eiyher way, we will live, not get sick because twice I have screwed up, meaning liquids draing off and another situation which I will not get into. Read lots before I ever did any bacon and it scares you into doin it right. I do give it away also, but let the dogs taste first. LOL These little pugs would be ruinin' my floor if that happened.

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave17a View Post
 

But what is the  exact and everthing is fine. I think plus or minus eiyher way, we will live, not get sick because twice I have screwed up, meaning liquids draing off and another situation which I will not get into. Read lots before I ever did any bacon and it scares you into doin it right. I do give it away also, but let the dogs taste first. LOL These little pugs would be ruinin' my floor if that happened.

 

Lol - what is the number for Animal Welfare in your area?

 

You are right, recipes are formulated to get the right balance between sufficient levels of salt penetration to preserve, whilst keeping the levels within palatable limits. There are safety ranges of course and meat will take up different amounts at different rates dependent on thickness. It is important though to ensure that minimum levels of the curing salts are taken up - and this takes time. If you let the brine drain away it will take most of the salt with it long before it can be absorbed. Leave the salts on too long though and it can become very unpleasant to eat.

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